Three-hundred backpacks full of school supplies were donated to the Newton County School System. Golden State Foods Foundation and United Stationers dropped off the backpacks at the Newton County Board of Education building on Thursday night. Kim Donahue, human resources manager for Golden State Foods; Kim Parris, Golden State Foods human resources generalist and foundation chair; and Wayne Morgan, corporate vice president, made the presentation to the school system.
“We’re most appreciative of Golden State’s contributions to our children,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools. “This will mean a great deal to so many of our students.”
Each of the school district’s elementary and middle schools received backpacks to distribute to students in need. Donahue noted that employees from Golden State Foods and United Stationers teamed up to stuff each backpack with supplies.
“In 2007, Golden State Foods Foundation and United Stationers Charitable Foundation established a backpack program as a successful model to help children begin the school year with a proper and complete set of school supplies,” Donahue said.
“This is consistent with our mission, and the program helps to engage our employees in meaningful, charitable activities that make a difference in the lives of those in need. The fact is many students begin the school year with inadequate or no supplies, and this program meets this need. We also hope students feel encouraged by the support they receive from our company and employees.”
In addition to donating backpacks to Newton County Schools, 350 backpacks were donated to Rockdale County Schools, 500 were donated to Gwinnett County Schools, and 50 were donated to a local women’s shelter.
“These backpacks and school supplies are paid for by the people who work for Golden State Foods,” Morgan said. “The funding comes through payroll deductions, and all of the money collected is put back into our local community.”
“At our school we continue to see an increase in student enrollment, especially after the Labor Day holiday. We have 703 students enrolled to date, which is almost 100 more students than we had at the opening of school last year,” said Michael Forehand, principal of Middle Ridge Elementary School.
“Entering a brand new school can be a scary time for young children,’’ Forehand said. “Students innately appreciate a structured and safe environment. We are so thankful to Golden State Foods for providing our students with extra book bags and school supplies for those who are in need of such items.”